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Surging Titans hope Kearse can play this week

| Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2002

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Just in time for their push for the AFC South title, the Tennessee Titans will bring back defensive end Jevon Kearse this week, hoping he can play against the New England Patriots next Monday night.

Kearse, who made the Pro Bowl after each of his first three seasons, broke a bone in his left foot on the second play of the opener against Philadelphia and hasn't played since.

The Titans thought he had a chance to get into Sunday's game against Indianapolis, but chose to deactivate him.

Tennessee won the game, 27-17, and moved into a first-place tie with the Colts at 8-5. The Titans hold the tiebreaker, having swept the Colts.

Coach Jeff Fisher said that the team will release Kearse from work in the training room this week, so he can resume meetings and practices.

EAGLES GET GOOD NEWS

Donovan McNabb had the cast removed from his broken ankle, but the Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback is still expected to be out for several more weeks.

McNabb broke the ankle Nov. 17 in the first quarter of a 38-14 victory over Arizona.

Meanwhile, backup Koy Detmer, who dislocated his elbow the week after McNabb's injury, is making progress and might be ready to play this week, coach Andy Reid said.

Third-stringer A.J. Feeley has led the Eagles to two straight wins.

MANNING TO PLAY

Peyton Manning walked into the Indianapolis Colts' locker room with a heavily wrapped right knee and a limp, but he wasn't concerned about missing any playing time.

Manning said he had an inflamed bursa sac, an injury that caused swelling in the knee after Sunday's 27-17 loss to Tennessee. But the two-time Pro Bowler said it wasn't enough to keep him out of Sunday's game at Cleveland.

"A lot of players have them," Manning said of the injury. "It's an aggravating thing."

Manning hurt the knee on the Colts' final series when he slid after a 5-yard scramble on first down. He said he hoped to return to practice Wednesday.

return Specialist done for season

San Francisco 49ers punt returner Jimmy Williams will miss the rest of the season with torn ligaments in his left knee.

Williams leads the NFC with 16.8 yards a punt return. He also was averaging 21.9 yards on kickoff returns.

Williams was hurt during the 49ers' 31-27 victory over Dallas on Sunday. He tore the medial collateral ligament and the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee when his foot got caught in the artificial turf, coach Steve Mariucci said.

WHO'S NEXT?

Washington Redskins rookie Patrick Ramsey will start Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the fifth quarterback change this season by coach Steve Spurrier.

Ramsey replaces Danny Wuerffel, who sprained his throwing shoulder in the third quarter of Sunday's 27-21 loss to the New York Giants. Ramsey finished the game, completing 12 of 27 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown.

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